Avila Now

April 26, 2022

Q&A: Payton Kinnison, MA.Ed ’22

Payton Kinnison
Payton Kinnison.

Payton Kinnison was working a job that wasn’t fulfilling and knew she wanted a career. “Before I started my cert and MA, I was working in the millwork industry as a purchaser (really putting that English major to use lol) and realized that I was simply at an office job, and not doing anything that I would consider a career. I realized I wasn’t feeling fulfilled by the work I was doing at the time,” said Kinnison.

She realized she wanted a career in education and began researching local school options. “I heard about Avila from researching teaching cert schools in our area. I loved the idea of getting my teaching cert and MA in 2 years!”

 Why was Avila and their program the right fit for you?

The certification and master’s program is very fast-paced and designed to get students in the classroom as soon as possible! I feel like each student is made a priority. I was surprised by how efficient the classes are, for being held in such a short amount of time. 

What professional goals do you have for the future, and how is your Avila education preparing you to pursue these goals?

I want to further my knowledge surrounding education and curriculum. My goal is to make a difference in the education field and to impact my students’ lives, and Avila is providing courses that enable me to do that.

Who at Avila did you form good relationships with during your studies? How did they assist you?

I loved my Practicum teacher, Professor Carol McLean! She was the instructor of my very first education course and I felt inspired by her! She made me so excited for what was to come in my future teaching.

What are you up to now?

I graduated from the University of Missouri in 2017 with my B.S. in English and a minor in hospitality management. I started at Avila in the spring of 2020 to begin the cert and MA program. I finished my cert this past December 2021 and will graduate with my MA in Curriculum this coming December 2022. 

I was halfway through my student teaching term at Blue Springs High School when I found out about an opening in their English Department. I applied and was hired as a long-term substitute until I earned my cert. So, I’ve been teaching English 1 and English 1 Literature and Composition at the Blue Springs Freshman Campus since October!

What would you say to someone who is considering coming to Avila for these programs?

For anyone who is considering enrolling at Avila in the cert and MA program, I would tell them to be prepared for fast-paced classes and hard work. But at the same time, almost every professor I’ve had has been very kind and understanding that we are all adults coming back to school and usually have full-time jobs on top of starting school again.


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